On November 9th, IBMA award-winning bluegrass duo the Gibson Brothers will release their new album Mockingbird. The siblings’ 14th studio release, Mockingbird is the pair’s first via Dan Auerbach’s record label Easy Eye Sound. Auerbach and David “Fergie” Ferguson co-produced the album.
“I was raised on bluegrass music, and the Gibson Brothers are one of this generation’s greatest in that style,” Auerbach tells Rolling Stone Country. “I’ve been a fan of theirs for a long time, and when Fergie brought up the idea of doing a non-traditional type of album with them, I jumped at the chance.”
The Gibson Brothers, made up of Leigh and Eric Gibson, wrote and recorded the album alongside Auerbach and Ferguson in Nashville. Players on the album include renowned session musicians Billy Sanford (guitar) and Gene Chrisman (drums). Mockingbird features a fresh batch of original songs from the brothers, drawing from the duo’s myriad influences in bluegrass, classic country, rock & roll, and soul. A highlight of the album is a cover of R.E.M.’s iconic “Everybody Hurts,” of which, in press materials for Mockingbird, R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe says, “It really re-focuses the song and the lyric in a great way.”
The duo is previewing the album with lead track “Lay Your Body Down.” Leading with white-hot electric guitar, the track finds the sweet spot between Laurel Canyon folk-rock and early Seventies Rolling Stones with big, layered vocal harmonies and crunchy blues flourishes.
“I think what makes the song stand out for me is how direct the lyric is,” Leigh says. “I mean, the bridge just gets right to and reinforces the point of hardly being able to be home with her. And all the harmony surrounding that lyric only adds to that, like everybody is onboard with the same thing. I mean, who isn’t? Any road dog who’s in or been in love knows what it’s like when you turn it around on the road and finally head home. It’s very honest.”
The Gibson Brothers’ most recent studio album is 2017’s In the Ground, released via Rounder Records. The two made their studio debut as a duo in 1994 with the album Underneath a Harvest Moon. Since then, the Gibsons have racked up several International Bluegrass Music Association Awards, including consecutive Entertainer of the Year wins in 2012 and 2013.
The Gibson Brothers are currently on tour, with their next stop September 7th in Saratoga Springs, New York.
Here’s the track list for Mockingbird:
1. “Travelin’ Day”
2. “Cool Drink Of Water”
3. “Love the Land”
4. “Sweet Lucinda”
5. “Special One”
6. “Lay Your Body Down”
7. “So Much Love in My Baby’s Eyes”
8. “Come Down”
9. “Everybody Hurts”
10. “I’m a Better Man”
11. “Not Gonna Be Tonight”